WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 8, 2021
TOPIC: PRAISE GOD IN ALL SITUATIONS
BY T. O. BANSO
“I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1 New King James Version).
From the Bible, we learn that no season is permanent. Nature also teaches us that. Seasons change. Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (New King James Version). Verses 5-8 list out other times.
Although seasons change, praise must not cease. No matter the season you are experiencing in life, the season of birth or death, planting or harvesting, building or breaking down, weeping or laughing, mourning or dancing, failure or success, never cease to praise. Praise God in all seasons. Praise God at all times.
To praise God means to glorify, thank, honour, and commend Him. Many people praise God when things are favorable to them, when their expectations are being met, when they are successful, when good things are happening in their lives, and so on. Only a few people praise God in adverse situations. They don’t praise God for their adversities, losses, failures, defeats, or setbacks. They praise God despite these. They praise God for His goodness, mercies, kindness, faithfulness, and the likes despite their adverse conditions. They see beyond their troubles.
Those who praise God only when good things happen to them or when situations are favourable could be said to have transactional relationships with Him. They relate with Him based on what they receive from Him, not because they love Him. In contrast, those who praise God no matter what happens to them demonstrate their love for Him. Their praise to God is not based on the condition that He blesses them, answers their prayers, prospers them, and so on.
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were beaten black and blue and put in prison under maximum security. Their only offence was that they cast out the spirit of divination from a girl in the course of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. The magistrates didn’t give them a fair hearing. They tore off their clothes and commanded that they should be beaten with rods. After the people had laid many stripes on them, they were thrown into prison inner prison and their feet fastened in the stocks (verses 16-24).
This was a terrible change of season for them. It was like falling from the mountain top into the valley. Seasons will change but praise must never cease. One cannot avoid the valley experience in life but what is important is the presence of God. Never lose sight of the presence of God whenever you’re going through the valley experience.
David said in Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (New King James Version). God says He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews13:5). He also says in Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” (New King James Version).
So whether you’re having a mountain top experience or valley experience, praise must never cease. Always praise God. Paul and Silas understood that praising God was not a function of the situation in which they were. It was independent. Therefore, while they were inside the prison, at midnight, they began to pray and sing hymns to God, and the prisoners listened to them.
Acts 16:26-28 says, “Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, ‘Do yourself no harm, for we are all here” (New King James Version).
Ordinarily, Paul and Silas should have been complaining, grumbling, or lamenting because of the serious beating they had received and the pain in their bodies but they were praying and singing hymns to God.
Some people could have wondered whether there was a need for it because God didn’t prevent their persecutors from punishing them. They would have expected God to ensure they were not beaten and maltreated before it would be right to pray and sing hymns to Him. In other words, they would have accused God of failing Paul and Silas and wondered why they should be doing what they did at midnight. Why must they turn the prison into church?
However, Paul and Silas didn’t feel that God disappointed them. I am sure their prayer and hymns were not to ask God to intervene and free them from the prison. I say this because if this was their goal, they should have escaped once there was a great earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison, all the doors opened, and everyone’s chains were loosed. But Paul and Silas stayed in the prison. It was a miracle that none of the other prisoners escaped. That would prove to the authorities that it was not a jailbreak!
Acts 16:27 says the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, thought that the prisoners had fled. The keeper of the prison was sleeping on duty! When he saw what had happened he drew his sword and wanted to kill himself. He had to account for the prisoners he thought had escaped while he was sleeping on duty! But Paul shouted that he should not harm himself because no prisoner had escaped.
Hear this: “Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’” (Verse 29-30 New King James Version). Did you notice something there? A prison keeper saying sirs to prisoners! He said sirs to Paul and Silas. Power had changed hands! He wanted to be saved hurriedly without Paul preaching to him. Of course, they preached Christ to him and those in his house. That same night, he washed their stripes. The jail keeper and all his family were baptized. He also served them food to eat.
In the morning, the magistrates sent the officers to the prison keeper to release Paul and Silas from the prison but they refused to go. Paul told the prison keeper, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out” (verses 37 New King James Version). The magistrates were afraid when they heard that they were Romans and came to plead with them, brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city.
Paul and Silas didn’t allow the change in season to make praising God cease in their mouths. Praise God in all seasons. Praise Him in all situations. Praise Him for who He is. Praise Him for His faithfulness, mercies, kindness, and so on. Praise Him because you love Him, not just because of what you want from Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. In everything means both negative and positive things. Similarly, Ephesians 5:20 says you should give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Take note of the phrase “always for all things.” “Always” means at all times. “All things” means everything. Paul says again in Colossians 3:17 that whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Praise God at all times.
Don’t let praise cease in your mouth because you’re experiencing an unfavourable time. Praising God must never depend on the season you’re in. Hear the prophet Habakkuk: “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls — yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills” (Habakkuk 3:17-19 New King James Version).
Whether your business is experiencing a boom or not, praise God. Whether your career is progressing well or not, praise God. And whether you passed your examination or not, praise God. All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Job said, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27 New King James Version). Earlier when his wife told him to curse God and die because of the trials he was going through, he told her that she spoke as one of the foolish women spoke (Job 2:9-10).
Praise God in all situations. David said, “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1 New King James Version). All times means both the difficult times and favourable times
Give yourself a pep talk if you’re not feeling like praising God. In other words, cheer up yourself. Encourage yourself like the author of Psalms 42 and 45 did. He said, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance” (Psalm 42:5 New King James Version). He said a similar thing in verse 11 and Psalm 43:5.
Psalm 150:6 says everything that has breath praise the LORD. If you have breath or you’re breathing, you should praise God. Praise God at all times. “I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises” (New Living Translation). Praise God in all situations.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I receive the grace to praise You in all situations, favourable and unfavourable. I will praise You at all times; Your praise shall continually be in my mouth.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947